I have received a number of emails recently regarding the transfer of EU environmental law into UK law once we have left the European Union.
The Government has repeatedly made clear that all EU legislation, including environmental protections, will be converted into UK law at the point of the UK's departure from the EU. This will provide continuity and certainty for individuals in the UK and in the EU.
Environmental principles must continue to underpin policy as they do now and I welcome the Government consultation that has been launched on these principles and how they should be incorporated into our law in the future. The consultation is open until 2 August 2018 and you can respond to it here: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/eu/environmental-principles-and-governance/
The Government has also proposed in the consultation that the establishment of an environmental watchdog should meet the following objectives:
- act as a strong, objective, impartial and well-evidenced voice for environmental protection and enhancement;
- be independent of government and capable of holding it to account;
- be established on a durable, statutory basis;
- have a clear remit, avoiding overlap with other bodies;
- have the powers, functions and resources required to deliver that remit and;
- operate in a clear, proportionate and transparent way in the public interest, recognising that it is necessary to balance environmental protection against other priorities.
Although the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice will end, the Government will ensure that strong and effective governance arrangements are in place after the UK's exit from the EU. A new independent body will hold the Government to account and ensure that environmental standards are upheld.